Settling In / Getting Organized

Today I’m finally starting to feel like I can see myself making it through the month! The first few days had their ups and downs.

Before getting to Marfa, I spent 3 days in Chicago visiting my brother, sister-in-law and niece and nephew. It was great to see them, and a nice transition between leaving my home and getting here. As I thought about arriving in Marfa, so much was unknown (I’d never been here before), but I held onto the thought of unpacking my giant suitcase and setting up my temporary home.

You can take the organizer out of Gotham …

[Note to readers who are not related to me: I am a professional organizer and the founder of ]

So it was really disconcerting to get here and find there was no place to put my clothes. No drawers. No shelves. No closet rod. No closet.

There was a big, rusty armoire-sized cabinet. Great. This house is owned by a decorator – another example of form over function.

Marfa cabinet

Grimmest "closet" ever?

It’s hard to describe what a bummer this was. The one familar thing I was counting on – unpacking, putting my clothes in order. Foiled.

And it’s not like I could just go over to Target and pick up a little dresser. This town is seriously SMALL. Some touristy gift shops. A bookstore. The Pueblo supermarket. The Get Go fancy market. And, oddly, two Stripes convenience stores, about a half mile apart from each other. That’s pretty much it. Except for some kind of Rancher-Supply store (You know I’ll be checking that out. The 1 day a week it might be open.)

So on Day 1, I think I was probably the first New Yorker to enter the Marfa Museum Thrift Shop. It was actually fun – and familiar – to have an organizing project to work on. Unfortunately, they don’t sell furniture. I scouted around and found a closet rod doubler. Filed that away in the back of my mind – maybe I could do something with that. I chatted with one of the two women behind the register, told her my plight, and she said she would make some calls – she might know someone with a dresser to sell. I left her my phone number. This was my first small-town experience. Really nice.

Forced myself to let go of this issue for a while and walked around town. Was excited to find a hardware and lumber store across the street from The Get Go.

Gourmet grocery - an oasis in the desert

Marfa hardware store

The hardware and lumber "store"

Walked inside. Empty. Called out. No answer. Checked out the dusty shelves. Slim pickings. Was sort of how I imagined a Soviet-era store. Found an ancient over-the-door hook for $9.99 That just seemed wrong.

Went to The Get Go and got some staples unavailable at the Pueblo – Jarlesburg, organic pork sausage, good salsa. Was nice to see some familar foods. The dominant brand at the Pueblo was Shur Shine. No Pepperidge Farm cookies. No whole wheat pasta. No bread without a seriously long list of polysyllabic ingredients. (But an unbelieveable selection of Mexican spices and chili sauce.)

I gave the hardware/lumber store another try. A man emerged from the back.

Me: Do you have a dowel that I could use to make a closet rod? (Remember, this is supposed to be a LUMBER place.)

Him: We sure don’t.

Me: Do you have any string or rope?

Him: There’s this one.

Me: Do you have anything else?

Him: We sure don’t.

Him: We do have these shower curtain rods.

Me: Do you have any smaller ones?

Him: We sure don’t.

Okay then. Perhaps this place wasn’t a retail establishment at all. Maybe it was some kind of performance art, or a statement piece like Prada Marfa.

Back to the thrift shop for that closet doubler.

Turned out to be a pretty good project. After spending Thursday at Chinati, I had almost exhausted the main Marfa activities.

marfa closet completed

My makeshift closet.

So, there you have it – what could have been a short story, made Texas-sized, since it’s 3:00pm and there is pretty much nothing else to do!

I’ve already:

Been to the Farmer’s Market (stretched that to around 20 minutes).

Walked around town.

Went to every open shop on the main drag.

Took a walk out to the edge of town.

Had a smoothie at Squeeze Marfa.

Planted a cactus I bought at the Farmer’s Market.

Made lunch.

Made my daily trip to the Thrift Shop (for more hangers).

Went to the Pueblo. Texas grapefruit – who knew?

Now what????!!!!

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3 Responses to Settling In / Getting Organized

  1. hillary says:

    This was really funny. Maybe easy for me to say here in the world of Bed Bath and Beyond and Fairway!
    Can’t wait to hear about tomorrow!

  2. Oh Lisa! I felt like I was there with you when reading this! Loved the dialog you had with the hardware store dude. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Feeling Marfan | My Month in Marfa

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